A dental injury in a child can be frightening, overwhelming and often leave parents wondering whether medical attention is necessary. Untreated dental injuries can lead to the potential development of a tooth deformity along with other lingering physical effects. A dental or mouth injury can also negatively affect appearance causing the possibility of unfortunate teasing and lowered self-esteem. By properply evaluating and treating a dental injury, parents can help prevent long-lasting physical and even psychological damage to a child.
Evaluating The Need For Medical Attention
The first step a parent or guardian must take is to evaluate the injury and how it happened. Recognizing symptoms along with the cause will allow you to most effectively evaluate if there is a need for medical attention.
It is also helpful to identify if a primary tooth or a permanent tooth has been affected.
- Primary Teeth: small, very white, bulging crowns, often worn and has flat edges.
- Permanent Tooth: larger, creamier in colour, jagged edges on newly-erupted teeth. Permanent incisors usually erupt sometime between the ages of 6 and 8 years.
Injury or loss of a primary tooth is less likely to require serious medical attention as it presents a lower risk of negative long term effects. However, if there is injury to a permanent tooth, medical attention should be sought out quickly before long-lasting or permanent damage can set in. Be sure to seek help from a trusted pediatric dentist if the child has:
- A cracked, chipped or broken tooth
- A dislocated or loose tooth
- A lost a tooth
- A missing tooth
- Pain or sensitivity to the tooth
- Bleeding that will not stop
- Pain or difficulty in opening or closing mouth
- Inability to open mouth
- Impaled tooth or object in the mouth
- A large cut or laceration
- Fever, blurred vision, weakness, dizziness, neck pain, signs of infection
Managing A Dental Injury In A Child
If a child has experienced a dental injury, contact an experienced pediatric dentist in order to provide the best care and take the following steps to reduce the risk of damaging effects:
- Gently rinse the child’s mouth and face to clean out blood or dirt
- Never remove objects yourself that have become impaled in the child’s mouth
- Use gentle pressure with gauze or a clean cloth to help control bleeding
- Do not store a tooth that has been knocked out in water – instead store the tooth in cold milk or the child’s own saliva until you are able to get into a dentist’s office
- Thoroughly evaluate the face, lips and oral muscles for any cuts
- Check for broken teeth, dislocated teeth or signs of more serious bone fractures.
- Identify if the tooth is a primary or permanent tooth
- Make note of concerning symptoms
- Get a detailed account of what happened in order to best understand how the injury occurred and better evaluate the seriousness.
Dental injuries can be serious and should be treated carefully. While not all dental injuries will require medical attention, deciding when to take a child in can be best determined by calling your child’s dentist. Providing a clear description of the incident and injury will help the dentist better advise you. As a parent, you will also know if an injury is serious enough to require immediate and emergent medical attention. Do not hesitate in taking your child in for care.
Las Vegas Children’s Dentistry
Adaven Children’s Dentisry in Henderson has dedicated experience in providing excellent dental care, both for routine cleanings and when dental injury has occurred. Contact our office today at (702) 492-1955 for any questions about a dental injury or for superior care.
Adaven Children’s Dentistry
1701 N Green Valley Pkwy # 8E Henderson, NV 89074